Boeuf bourguinon with a Spanish twist
Everyone loves a good mash up, right? Take something you love, add in something else you love and boom – you’ve got something even better! That’s the theory, I mean it doesn’t work if you add dark chocolate to gravy. Or pickles to a creme brulee. Or peanut butter to… actually, I can’t think of anything peanut butter wouldn’t enhance.
Anyway, I’m getting off topic. A good beouf bourguinon is a wonderful thing, but as I’m leaving Spain soon, I decided to mix up my classic recipe with a few small Spanish twists. I used chorizo instead of bacon lardons, and really enjoyed the slightly smoky flavour that it added. And of course, I used a rioja! The herbs aren’t fully traditional either, and I don’t think mushrooms are meant to be in there, strictly speaking. So it’s now a “Laura” Spanish-French classic! I’m keeping the name though, as “vacuno rioja” doesn’t trip off the tongue like “beouf bourguinon” does.
By the way, don’t be tempted to use up really cheap plonk for this recipe. There is no stock other than the wine, so the finished casserole will taste of whatever wine you put into it. Crap wine is still crap wine, even if it is warm and has vegetables in it. It shouldn’t be a really fancy bottle, but make sure it actually is drinkable!
Ingredients (serves 4)
– 400 g good quality stewing steak in cubes
– 2 tablespoons plain flour
– 80 g chorizo, chopped into small pieces
– 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
– 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
– 12 shallots
– 10 button mushrooms, sliced
– 4 cloves garlic – slice 3 and chop 1
– 500 ml red wine
– 1 beef stock cube
– 1 teaspoon each oregano, rosemary and thyme
– 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
– Rice or mashed potato to serve
1. Heat oil or butter in a large casserole dish on the hob. Toss the beef cubes in the flour and brown all over. Once browned, remove with a slotted spoon and put to one side.
2. Tip the chorizo into the pan and stir round until it starts to release its oils. The one at a time, add the onion, sliced garlic and carrot. Stir for 5 minutes until slightly softened.
3. Meanwhile, place the shallots in a pan of boiling water. Leave for 2 minutes then drain and run under cold water. This should make them really easy to peel. Slice off the top and bottom, and the outer layer should slip off. Peel and add to the rest of the vegetables.
4. Return the beef to the pan, along with the stock cube, wine and herbs. Bring to the boil then reduce to a very low simmer. Cover and leave for an hour.
5. After an hour, remove the lid and continue to simmer for another hour. By now, your kitchen should smell amazing! Taste and season. At this point, you want the sauce to reduce and thicken slightly.
6. Melt some butter or oil in a frying pan and add the garlic. After about 30 seconds, add the sliced mushrooms and stir for five minutes. Once they have browned slightly, add them to the casserole and mix well.
7. If you want the sauce to reduce further, use a slotted spoon to remove the meat and vegetables. Cover them in a warmed dish, then turn the heat up on the sauce so that it bubbles and thickens. You can even add a teaspoon of cornflour mixed with a little water. Once it is the desired consistency, return the meat and vegetables and warm through.
8. Serve with chopped parsley and an accompaniment such as rice or mashed potatoes. Polenta would work well here too.
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